The Johnson County School District filled three vacant seats on the Johnson County Recreation Board on Dec. 10. 

Ron Chapin will continue to serve on the board for another five-year term, while Kaycee resident Dustin Sipe and newly elected school board member Mike Moon will join him on the board. 

In his letter of interest, Chapin wrote that his experience as a physical education teacher and swim team coach would make him a valuable asset to the board. 

“With my knowledge about lifetime activities, Johnson County and the recreation opportunities we have in our community, I believe I can continue to be an asset to the recreation board,” Chapin said. 

Sipe, a teacher and coach at Kaycee School, will take over the seat formerly held by Vikki Chenette. In his letter of interest, Sipe said he would be a vocal advocate for southern Johnson County. 

“I feel like I would be a great fit for this board and would be a strong voice from Southern Johnson County because I am interested in making decisions that benefit all the residents of Johnson County,” Sipe wrote. 

Chapin and Sipe were two of the seven applicants for the open seats on the recreation board, alongside Deb McMahon, Keri Malson, Erin Perry, Mike Strohbusch and Dustin Kavitz. School trustees ranked the candidates from 1 to 7 in order of preference. Chapin was the No. 1 choice of four board members – Dave Belus, Tim Blaney, John Manzella and Jodi Verplancke. Sipe was the No. 1 choice of Rich Hall and Marcy Schueler. Kavitz took third place in the race. 

Moon was appointed by the school board to fill the seat of former trustee Nicole Novotny-Wonka. One sitting school board member is required to serve on the recreation board at all times. 

The rec district board meets on the second Tuesday of most months. The board’s primary responsibility is awarding grant dollars each spring to various community organizations. The Johnson County School District board of trustees votes annually to allocate up to 1 mill of funding for the recreation district, which receives the money in the spring. 

In 2018, the recreation district distributed over $402,000 to 48 recreation programs, including the Johnson County Family YMCA, Boys & Girls Club of the Big Horns and the Buffalo Swim Club. 

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